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Faecal Sludge and Septage Management

  • 01 Jan 2022
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM), NITI Aayog, Swachh Survekshan, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

For Mains: Issues and challenges involved in India’s waste Management system and related steps taken

Why in News

According to the NITI Aayog report Faecal sludge and septage management in urban areas, Service and business models, by 2021 more than 700 cities / towns are in various stages of Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) implementation.

Key Points

  • Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM):
    • About:
      • India has recognized the gaps in sanitation coverage and embarked purposefully to address them, becoming one of the first countries to announce a national policy on FSSM in 2017.
      • FSSM prioritizes human excreta management, a waste stream with the highest potential for spreading diseases.
      • It is a low-cost and easily scalable sanitation solution that focuses on safe collection, transportation, treatment, and reuse of human waste.
      • As a result, FSSM promises a means to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target 6.2 of adequate and inclusive sanitation for all in a time bound manner.
    • Related Initiatives:
  • Capacity of India’s Sewage Treatment Plants:
    • According to the latest report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in India are able to treat a little more than a third of the sewage generated per day.
    • India generated 72,368 MLD (million litres per day) whereas the installed capacity of STPs was 31,841 MLD (43.9%).
    • 5 states and Union Territories (UT) - Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Karnataka - account for 60% of the total installed treatment capacity of the country.
  • Issues with Solid Waste Management:
    • Absence of segregation of waste at source.
    • Lack of funds for waste management at Urban Local Bodies (ULB).
    • Lack of technical expertise and appropriate institutional arrangement.
    • Unwillingness of ULBs to introduce proper collection, segregation, transportation and treatment/disposal systems.
    • Indifference of citizens towards waste management due to lack of awareness.
    • Lack of community participation towards waste management and hygienic conditions.

Way Forward

  • Utilising FSSM Alliance: The National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (NFSSM) Alliance has played a catalytic role in the FSSM sector in India so far and serves as a ready resource and platform for state and city officials.
  • To ensure long term sustainability and quality implementation, states and cities must undertake capacity building, quality assurance and quality control, and monitoring. Moreover, it is critical that states take steps to institutionalize
  • Keeping the most vulnerable and underserved, women and urban poor at the center of this effort, states and cities must move quickly to introduce innovative solutions.
  • With that, India can become an exemplar to the world for not only ending open defecation, but also for safely managed holistic sanitation.

Source: DTE

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